Darlington School Board
There are five candidates for four seats on the Darlington school board. Incumbents Matt Crist, Matt Wilson and Teresa Siegenthaler are being challenged by Donna Jean Wiegel and Judy Huntington.
City/town of residence: Darlington
Family: Wife - Amber, Daughters - Emma (11) and Gianna (7)
Education: Darlington High School Graduate, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Business Administration
Occupation: Director of Operations, TermSync Inc.
Previous elected positions held: Current school board member
What are the top issues facing this district/municipality and how would you work to resolve it?
There are many positive things that are going on in the Darlington School District but there is always room for improvement. We have an operating referendum upon us on April 5th. This referendum is extremely important and must pass to allow the district to continue to provide an exemplary education to our students. The reason the referendum is needed is because the state has not allowed revenue limits to increase with inflation.
Over the last few months, I have worked to inform our voters of the facts of this referendum. As a board, we continually look for ways to save money but our enrollment is increasing so some staff increases will be needed over the next few years.
I am confident that if this referendum passes, the school district will be in very good shape for many years to come. As a board member, I have a direct impact on the district's spending levels and will work to keep those levels in check.
What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?
1. A major issue is how we integrate our Spanish-speaking students into the classroom without increasing net costs. As we hire new teachers and staff we should be looking for individuals who speak English and Spanish.
2. Our high school is 50 years old and needs some facility upgrades. The board will need to put a long-range plan in place to make the upgrades without adding on huge amounts of debt.
3. The state has mandated additional testing requirements without offering a revenue source to pay for those. These testing requirements take students out of the classroom so we need to continue to work on ways to minimize that time away from the classroom.